Schopenhauer once said that the ability to “always see the general in the particular is the very foundation of genius.” Sure. And being a pompous fool too.

The running temptation on the internet is to take a minor observation and turn it some grand theory (Thankfully it’s not as common, but still shamefully alluring to name this theory after yourself. I wince every time I see a “Hugh’s Law” or one of the “Jarvis Laws of Media“). See a poorly run restaurant? – pontificate about the power of customer service. Hear an old media company fucked up? – let’s rant about how awesome blogs are.

Of course these articles always suck. The only people who can stomach them are the ones who have nothing to do with the industry in question – or they’d be struck by the overwhelming amateurism and cluelessness that drown out any value.

It’d be well and good if this stayed and died on the internet, but it doesn’t. People are being raised in this culture, consuming it on a daily basis, and letting it work alchemy on their soul. It’ll turn you into a laughingstock and a do-nothing long before it brings out your genius.

Work it like this, I think: cut yourself off the next time something makes you think “wow, that would make a good blog post.” It won’t. The fact that it feels like it would means it’s probably trite, obvious and self-congratulatory. Give it a some intense study before you expound the value of a new business model. Stop and consider how likely it is that new information will change the nature of the situation and you’ll find you probably don’t need to weigh in just yet.

It’s ok. You’re not missing out on anything. Focus on the vision you’ve planned for yourself. Leave the chatter to the people who enjoy peddling thoughts to empty rooms and avoid the tactic hell that is responding to every particular that pops up in front of you.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.